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on hold...

My credit card was denied today while attempting to purchase lunch.

11:45 - I called the credit card company to find out what the problem was. I was told that a block was put on my card due to a couple of large charges I made last night. I was then told that I would have to speak to the fraud department. The woman on the phone said that she would be happy to transfer me.

11:55 - After being transferred, the phone rang for 5 minutes straight.

12:00 - Five minutes of ringing in my ear was all I could take. I hung up and started all over again. After answering all the routine questions for a second time and explaining what the problem was, I asked if there was someone else I could speak to since I did not have a lot of time to spend waiting on the phone. Little did I know how long my wait would actually be! I was told that only the fraud department could help me. The woman said I could have had a bad connection and proceeded to connect me to the fraud department once again.

12:10 – The connection was made to the fraud department and I began to hold, waiting for the next available agent...until 2:15!!! That would be 2 hours and 5 minutes!! While I waited, every minute or so, a recording would come on saying "We're sorry, but all agents are busy at this time. Please hold on the line and your call will be answered in the order it was received." Then there would be silence. A few times I panicked thinking that I was disconnected and then the recording would repeat once again reassuring me that yes, I was still on hold. The least they could do is stop that annoying recording from repeating every minute or so. Although there are slow learners in the world, I doubt anyone would need 120 reminders that your call will not be answered until the fraud department is good and ready to answer the call.

2:05 - I had had enough. I got out my cell phone and called the credit card department while I continued to hold the school phone up to my other ear in the off chance that my call would finally be answered. For the third time, I gave the credit card department my name, credit card number, and assured them that I was the only person authorized to use my card. The woman then asked in a very friendly voice how she could help me. Let me tell you, I was no longer a calm and rational person. I explained that I had been on hold for over 2 hours and was wondering if perhaps everyone in the fraud department went home for the day and I would be spending the night with the phone attached to my ear waiting for someone to answer. The woman obviously could tell that I was quite upset. She said she would see what she could do and put me on hold.

2:15 - Like magic, a few seconds later, a person from the fraud department answered the phone. After answering about 10 different security questions, I explained that my card was blocked. I wanted to find out the the reason and what I needed to do to get it to work again. I was told that I made two large purchases the night before. I told her that yes, I was aware of this. She said that they just wanted to make sure that I did indeed make these charges.

After discussing each charge, including the two times I attempted to use my card today (which I reminded her were denied), she said that my charge to Unicef was the suspicious charge. I could not believe that making a donation would be considered suspicious activity on a credit card. How many theives do you know steal a credit card or aquire someone's credit card number to make a donation to a cause?

Two hours and fifteen minutes later (after first calling the credit card department) my card was “unblocked”.

Comments (6)

Girasoli, I am sorry that you had to go through all that aggravation but I have to laugh at how ludicrous it is that a charge to UNICEF would be suspicious! What a crazy world we live in, LOL>

Anne:

That is weird about the Unicef charge! My bank called me about some charges I made last year before our trip, but fortunately did not actually put a hold on our card. Dave had his debit card cancelled one time because he'd made a purchase at a convenience store suspected of debit machine fraud...but he didn't know the card was cancelled until a few days later when he tried to use it at the grocery store. Oh boy, was he ever cranky with the bank for not letting him know! I appreciate that they keep an eye on unusual activity, but...it can be such a pain sometimes!!

June:

Not only did I follow you, I've been there. Fun times...not! Thanks for stopping by Spatter....

Oh how annoying is that! What a mess. I can't believe it was such a problem to get it fixed!

That is terrible. I've had fraudulent charges on my card so I appreciate the fraud department for being diligent but this is ridiculous. I've also had them put a hold on my ATM but it wasn't too bad getting through to the department. I do hate having to try to get through to tell them you are out of the country. The menu system doesn't have an option for that.

I hope it doesn't happen again. Next time call collect. :)

I also appreciate the fraud department checking up on things but this whole experience was unreasonable. Since they left me a message on my home phone, they should have waited til I contacted them before putting a block on my card since I was not charging wildly and again the questionable charge was a donation.

I am thankful however that this did not happen while I was in Italy. Hopefully it will not happen again or if it does, at least someone will answer the phone in a reasonable amount of time. Or Marta, maybe I should call collect :)

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